Saturday, December 20, 2008

Educating Anti Gunners, One Person at a Time

Joe Huffman is educating an anti-gunner over at the ""View from North Central Idaho". Go have a read. I left a comment at Mr. Weinstein's site as well. To me, his list of "reasonable" restrictions, or whatever they are calling it today, looks like the Brady Campaign's list, right down to the wording. Everything is now couched in the bland sounding "reasonable" and " common sense." There is nothing that is either reasonable or common sense about these proposals. And the magical thinking involved is, of course, on full display. "If we can just pass these few extra burdens on all of us, these "reasonable and common sense" restrictions, why crime would decrease remarkably. " Here's a question, if these laws do it, finally, then we can repeal the other 20,000 gun laws that had no effect, right? No? Then I have to ask what Joe asked, namely what is the real agenda behind these new restrictions, because it sure ain't crime prevention.

I always liked Joe's formulation of "Just One Question" to shut up gun grabbers. It goes like this: Can you demonstrate one time or place, throughout all history, where the average person was made safer by restricting access to handheld weapons? To my knowledge, no one has ever answered his question.

Switching topics, there will be light blogging from now through the first of the new year. Last minute shopping a baking, then going to Virginia to visit with a sick friend will take up quite a bit of time.

A reminder, I will be at the gun show tomorrow, at the GRNC table. Stop by if you are in the area.

Have a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Update: Welcome to Mike Vanderboeg with the addition of the Sipsey Street Irregulars to the blogroll. I have found Mike's writings over the years to be powerful, and knowledgable. Mike doesn't pull any punches. I think his is just the voice we need right now.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Double Standard

Jonah Goldberg has a great article up today citing the double standards that exist in the mainstream media between Sarah Palin and Caroline Kennedy. Palin, Governor of Alaska, hard worker, mother and wife, is treated as if nothing she could ever do would be enough, while Kennedy, whose thin resume of accomplishments seem to be that she was born a Kennedy, is being crowned as we speak.

Admittedly, we don't know Mrs. Palin well enough, but what we do know is very exciting. Thing is, if Palin had held liberal views, she would have been hailed as the coming. But Palin espoused the conservative values of limited government, hard work, keeping what you earn-in short meritocracy. My mother would have understood Sarah Palin, having raised 5 children of her own while also having a career as a teacher, and would have seen her as the true feminist she is. Moreover, Palin is the sort the Founders had in mind. Rather than professional politicians, or hereditary titles, the founders envisioned outstanding citizens, especially businessmen taking on the burden of government for a time, then leaving it for other tasks. Along with the citizens militia, these were thought to keep our country strong and free.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

'A Christmas Story'

From David Codrea at the War on Guns comes a timely article in the Cleveland Examiner on 'A Christmas Story'. Go read it, then tune in next Wednesday.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Third Way

Roberta X has this to say about "lines in the sand."

I have not been actively posting lately, because frankly, I have had nothing new to say. Never the less, I find Roberta's "third way" says a lot of what I feel about government, and our ability to do something about it. I however, while recognizing the nature of government, am a conservative. I see the need for a very limited government, one which does only a few things and leaves the rest up to the people. Personal liberty is very important to me.

Like Roberta, I participate in political action, including elections, in hopes of getting less of the bad consequences of government action, and more of the benefits of government inaction. One of the things I will be doing this weekend is helping to man the Grass Roots North Carolina booth at the Raleigh Gun Show. Stop by and talk a while. Join up if you haven't already. Sign up for the Raffle while you are there.

H/T to the Smallest Minority.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

ACORN on Gun Control-Emphasis on Control

And so it begins. Now that the Supreme Court has held that the 2nd Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms, the gun grabbers are going after ammunition. In this article, the Rev. Whitley, a "community organizer" for NC ACORN, is proposing a law, similar to the Jim Crow era law requiring a person to obtain a permit before purchasing a hand gun, to also obtain a permit before purchasing "bullets."

Go read the article, and especially the comments.

Now, where to start....

How about with the notion that although it is already illegal for criminals to posess guns, and it is already illegal for criminals to posess bullets, ( and surely it hasn't been missed that it is already illegal to shoot people) somehow THIS law will finally be the one that keeps criminals from shooting innocent people, and forces them instead to use baseball bats, knives, and other means of intimidation. Criminals, by definition, do not obey laws, therefore they will just obtain their ammunition from black market sources. The only people who will be detered are the law abiding, who are no threat to anyone else. They will pay the increase in price, and put up with the added headache of getting that little piece of paper every time they want to purchase ammunition.

Then there is the notion, anathema to most people who think about it, of getting permission for exercising a right. I shouldn't need permission to buy a gun, much less to buy ammunition.

Then there's the idea that a persons rights ought not be restricted because some might abuse them, or that the rights of the law abiding should be cirumscribed by what the lawless will allow. Often cited is the "shouting fire in a crowded theater" quote from Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, making the point that there are limits to the right to free speech. However, there is no prior restraint on free speech. They don't tape everyone's mouth shut because they might yell "fire" in a crowded theater. Also, if there really was a fire in that theater, yelling "fire" would be considered the height of civic duty. It is the same for the 2nd Amendment. There should be no prior restraint on the exercise of the right. As the consequences of abusing the right are greater, so should the punishment be. But 20,000 laws in the country already severly abridge the right to keep and bear arms, with no noticable effect on crime.

Call it gun control, call it "bullet" control, call it whatever you want, but the issue is control. What these people want is to make the right to keep and bear arms so difficult and expensive, that only a few rich people will even try. Add NC ACORN to the list of people and organizations with blood on their hands

Hat tip to Sebastian and Robb


Newbie Shooter has a little more here.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Blood on the Hands of Gun Controllers

A great article by John Lott on the "Life and Death Costs of Gun Control" (Hat tip to David Codrea of the War on Guns.)

I have said that I don't want to discuss the "utilitarian argument" against gun control, because that inevitably leads to bickering over what is a "fact." For example, I have seen cases in which someone arguing for gun control included people up to the age of 24 in their count of "children" in order to beef up their numbers. I have seen numbers of gun homicides that include people committing suicide by gun for the same purpose. While suicide is a homicide, keep in mind that many of the people who are feigning outrage over the numbers are the same folks who pushing for assisted suicide to be legalized. But I digress.

John Lott makes excellent cases that had the people of Mumbai been allowed to have guns, the outcome there might have been different. He makes the principled case that Plaxico Burress should not be made a criminal simply for possessing a gun, absent malicious intent to use it. He makes the case that the police can not be there to prevent crime. In fact, the only person that has a chance of preventing a crime is the potential victim himself.

I do not mean to imply that merely having a gun will always save you. You must be aware, and prepared to act. But, if having a gun makes a difference, then being denied a gun by law means that those who pushed for and passed such laws are complicit in murder. In a just society they would be tried as accomplices and punished as appropriate.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thoughts on Security

Over at the Ten Ring, Denise has some random thoughts on the Mumbai massacre. She refers to our current security posture as "security theater". I like that term, because it is so descriptive of what is happening around the country. We seem to hope that by creating the "illusion" of security, that somehow we will all be safer. Magical thinking does not stand up well when confronted by reality. People bent on killing people and creating terror can be unbelievably inventive when it comes to outwitting the "security theater."

Police can not be everywhere, and you wouldn't want them everywhere even if you could have them. The police are not there to protect you, personally. They are there to provide overall law enforcement, take reports and clean up the messes. The one thing that can be readily assured will be that citizens will be at any target chosen by terrorists. If more of our citizens were armed, and had a mindset to act, we would all be safer, never mind the security kabuki with its liberty robbing set pieces.

Thoughts on the Bailout

A lot has been written explaining, apologizing, condemning, or praising the various bailouts that have raised our collective debt some $7 trillion. Michelle Malkin adds to the confusion surrounding bailouts with this piece, that proves you just can't satire leftists. Anything you come up with as a joke will soon be offered by these guys with a straight face.

Case in point, the newspapers in Connecticut are complaining that not enough readers are buying their papers, so they want a bailout too. Really, this is apparently no joke. It just boggles the mind that the newspapers, and other media, who gave us a choice between John McCain and Barack Obama, then made sure no one would know who the heck Barack Obama actually is, while allowing Obama to make pretty much any charge against McCain without challenge, just don't have enough subscribers anymore. Gee, who would have thunk it!

These newspapers deserve to fail. A lot of other newspapers deserve to fail as well. When a business that depends on advertising fails to provide anything to attract half the potential audience, it is not surprising that half the audience just might go elsewhere for their news.

Conservatives have nothing similar to the "fairness doctrine" to force media to include conservative content, and frankly it would go against our principles to enforce such a thing if we did have it. The only way we can change how the newspapers present the news is by voting with our pocketbooks. If enough newspapers fail, perhaps they will get the message. But they won't get it if government keeps bailing them out.

I can't help but feel that the same thing might be said about all the other bailouts being offered right now.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Brady Campaign's Playbook

From Alan Korwin, by way of the War On Guns (click on it to the left there) blog spot, has a great article out listing most of the Brady Campaign's hopes for the coming 4 years. They are practically salivating over what they expect will be the biggest victory for the gun grabbers since the 68 GCA. Kind of puts the lie to all the articles claiming that gun owners were being paranoid, doesn't it?

As each new law is passed, lawful gun owners are asked to give up just a little of their natural rights in order to make the world vastly safer. Each time, the world is not made even one whit safer, which spawns the next round. Each round is only a good first step.

What must be understood is that guns are not the problem. They are never the problem. The problem is the wicked hearts of the criminal class, who use guns because they are an effective tool in subduing and controlling their victims. Any approach that seeks to control the tools, but not the criminal will be doomed to failure, as the 20,000 gun laws already on the books can attest. Any approach that seeks to control criminal behavior by placing prior restraints on the law abiding is also doomed to failure because criminals, by definition, do not obey laws. It would be like duct taping every persons mouth who came into the theater just in case one of them might yell fire.

Of course you should join the NRA, join you local gun rights group, write your Congressman and Senators. We must take all steps necessary to prevent this from becoming a complete route. The Brady's will be doing everything necessary to ensure these laws pass.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Principled Understanding of the Place of Police in Society

I found this comment, from a person named "fsilber" to an article by Eric Sharp particularly compelling:

The issue isn't whether we need them, but whether we are to continue in our founder's political ideology or switch to the concept of some 19th century German political scientist. In the European mind, police are servants of the rulers occupying and controlling the nation. In our Founder's ideology, the people are free and police are servants of the people, hired by any town or village that chooses to incorporate, to do the tasks that private citizens might do but usually prefer to delegate. For this reason, it is politically objectionable to ban any weapon police are allowed to use.
7:22:47 a.m. EDT

I have argued for some time that any weapon in the arsenal of the police should be equally available to law abiding citizens who are paying them. The police are our servants. The master would never arm his servant better than he himself is armed.

Declaration of Non-compliance

It has been a slow news week. Also, we have had friends over for much of the week, and preparing for Thanksgiving has taken up a huge share of my time as well.

This posting over at Mindful Musings caught my attention. Go read it, then come back.

Read it? Great!

I continually return to that fine little book by Jeff Snyder, A Nation of Cowards, which extends Thoreau's Civil Disobedience to the ethics of gun control, and by extension, the the morality of being armed. The 2nd Amendment is not intended merely for the police and military. It is intended for all Americans.

You would think that the press would vigilantly uphold at least the part of the 1st Amendment dealing with a free press. But no, they seem to want to limit competition from any upstarts who might challenge them. But the 1st Amendment is not the private plaything of the media, but for every United States Citizen. When the Attorney General Select suggests that the things we say may need an editor, I find that to be an un-American attitude, and it greatly disturbs me.

If you think your blood pressure could use a little boost, I also recommend a book entitled Lost Rights by James Bovard. It details, with actual case histories, all the ways. large and small, that our rights have been eroded. At my age, I can still recall what freedom tasted like, and it doesn't taste anything like the thin gruel being served up today.

I can not see another way, at this time, to get the point across that we will not be subjected. If just 10% of us, 30 million, were to decide to simply not comply, we could make a huge difference. Think about it.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Why Do You Need a Gun in a Church

In New Jersey, a man went into a church and shot his wife and two others. The story can be read here.

I post these from time to time to show that crime happens everywhere, and at all hours of the day or night. I am sure these church goers never thought that they might have a need for a self defense tool in a church. But you never know when and where something like this will occur. It only makes sense to be prepared.

Furthermore, criminals often pick the very places, such as schools and churches, where the State has deliberately disarmed the public at large, in the false belief that a criminal who is out to commit murder will be dissuaded by a law that says you may not have guns in a school or church.

I will probably make the point a thousand times, in hopes that someone, somewhere will listen to me, and it may finally sink in-criminals by definition do not obey laws. Therefore burdening the law abiding with extra rules, regulations, red tape only hinders the law abiding. And hinder them it does, because of fear of running afoul of some small point of the law and winding up in prison. The net effect of gun control laws is to render the general populace less able to defend itself. But then, might not that be the real point?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Gun Nuts are Racists

Nice. So, according to this, if you are buying another gun, or more ammunition, you are a racist. Really classy there Steven Lemons. Here's the money quote:

Could we be on the verge of a similar wave of racist violence, egged on by the "Obamanation" -- in the words of his detractors -- of a black man being sworn in as President? I hope not, but the specter of hordes of paranoid Caucasians snapping up guns like there's no tomorrow is hardly a reassuring one.

So, there you have it. If you are buying ammo, it's not because you have looked into the One's policies and voting record. It's because you are a racists.


Now I need to get ready to go to the gun show and buy some reloading supplies.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Liberty and the Free Market

Jason has a great post over at his place, 21 Gun Salute, entitled Free Market Lessons. It is about how the town of Deadwood got its start. Go read the whole thing. The money quote is:

Now I believe it could go without saying that Deadwood was at times a "take no shit, rough and tumble" town that had to be gritty, to say the least. My main point is that "outlaws," with little to no oversight, built a successful community outside the established law. Not only successful but advanced, extremely advanced taking into account their geography. Health care, news, transportation, and a variety of jobs were available, for the cost of the responsibility to do it well. The had telephone lines in 1878! Can people do the "right thing" without a Presidential
telling them to? Yes we can.

Liberty, and the free market. Gotta love this country, especially when the story is as good as gold.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Who Needs a Gun in a Barber Shop

From Philadelphia, comes this story.

"He asked me a question about whether or not I was closed," Cross said. "I invited him in and got myself prepared to cut his hair.

"The suspect . . . starts digging in his pockets. I thought he was looking for a cell phone, maybe shifting his wallet or something."

The man then "pulls out a gun on me."

Demanding money, the gunman "goes into my pockets, goes into my cash register. He said, 'There's not enough,' " Cross said.

"I had my 9-year-old son here. He was in the back and didn't know what was going on. The person knew there was somebody else in here, threatened me and threatened if I didn't give him more money he would also harm my son."

It was a good thing Mr. Cross was armed with more than a cell phone and a whistle.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Getting What We Deserve

For a historian's take on the elections, see Atlas Shrugged. Of course, the time for warnings is over. Now we will have to watch, and make whatever preparations each of us deems necessary, and which we can afford. Who knows, the talking heads on TV may be right, and the One can't really govern as he campaigned, though I think these people are whistling past the grave yard.

Over at Israpundit is a good article on Liberal Fascism, as well as his take on what the One meant by his civilian security force that is just as well funded as the military.

Meanwhile, it appears the "Democrats" are planning an assault on our 1st Amendment rights that entails something more comprehensive than just the reinstatement of the un-Fairness Doctrine. Austin Hill writes at With a near filibuster proof majority in the Senate, and with votes mysteriously turning up in Minnisota in support of the Democrat, I doubt that the Senate Republicans will much of a barrier. A little teaser from Mr. Hill's piece:

On June 29th of this year, I authored a column wherein I suggested that the antiquated “Fairness Doctrine” might be the least of our concerns. I further surmised that a President Obama and a Democratically controlled Congress may pursue something I termed “comprehensive media reform” - - a much broader, all-inclusive attempt to more fully regulate media content and ownership. I believe the stage is now set for such an effort. I’m imagining a rather sophisticated public relations campaign that would play out in the context of “experts” testifying before the next Congress, and “research” that would be reviewed in congressional investigations.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Why the Gun is Civilization

From Marko, the Munchkin Wrangler comes this post, which says more eloquently than I ever could, why carrying a gun is a civilized act. I would also point out that while a society in which guns did not exist because they are not needed is certainly civilized, a society in which crime is rampant because guns have been confiscated is barbaric. Many seem to want the illusion of a civilized society, and to just sort of ignore the barbarity of the result.

Why the Gun is Civilization.

Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it.

In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force. The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gangbanger, and a single gay guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we'd be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger's potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat--it has no validity when most of a mugger's potential marks are armed. People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.

Then there's the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser. People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don't constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level. The gun is the only weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weightlifter. It simply wouldn't work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal and easily employable.

When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation...and that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act.

The Immorality of Gun Control...

...and why it is consequently ineffective in achieving its stated goals.

The drumbeat for gun control has already started. The "best" I've seen so far is here (hat tip to the Michael Bane blog). But there are others here and here, for example (hat tip to Alphecca). What all arguments for gun control have in common is an abiding belief, despite reason and evidence to the contrary, that if we could just get rid of guns, suddenly the world would be a safe place. People who believe in gun control also have a magical belief in the power of words. Thus, if they could just pass one more law, with the right incantation, then criminals who don't obey the 20,000 laws already on the books will suddenly realize the error of their ways and become law abiding citizens. Children could once again play on the streets, the lion would lay down with the lamb, and we could all hug and sing a round of kumbayah. What all pro-gun arguments that attack these anti-gun positions have in common is that they make the same assumption. Namely, that our salvation lies in objects. But it is not the object, morally neutral in and of itself, but the character of the one who uses it, that determines whether it is used for good purposes or evil ones.

I will not address either side of this argument here. While John Lott, author of More Guns, Less Crime, makes a compelling argument that guns do, in fact, save lives; even if they did not, gun control is still immoral. So let's now lay out why these proposals, and gun control laws are immoral.

Life is a gift from God (or, if a libertarian, each individual owns his own life.) The responsibility to defend that life lies ultimately with each individual. The police have no responsibility to defend your life. (It is also unreasonable to require that someone put his life at risk in order to defend yours, when you are unwilling to do it yourself.) To fail to resist when your life is threatened is to trample on the great gift God has given you, to voluntarily commit suicide. Carrying arms, particularly a hand gun, and having the will to use it when confronted by criminals bent on your destruction is the most effective means of defending your life. A government that takes away the means of defending your life can not be considered legitimate. Indeed, such a government could be said to be complicit in the deaths of innocent citizens. Such a government is immoral, and not to be trusted.

Oddly enough, studies also show that criminals tend to avoid situations where an intended victim may be armed, preferring instead to pick on someone less able to defend himself. Who would have thunk it? The only way we will ever reduce crime is if we, each and every one of us, resist it at the instant it occurs.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Why Do You Need a Gun in a ....

Thanks to the Virginia Citizens' Defense League. Commentary is by VCDL President Philip Van Cleve.

Who needs a gun in a convenience store?

So, you think you can reason with a criminal, Mr. and Mrs. gun- controller? Thanks to Jeff Buchanan for the link:

Brutal market shooting video released CCTV, November 04/08:MEMPHIS, TN:

A brutal shooting inside a neighborhood market. One man is now dead and another employee is in the hospital. Investigators hope the video helps catch a killer. A man who apparently had nothing more on his mind when he pulled the trigger. In fewer than 10 seconds, an elderly man was murdered steps from the front door of his neighborhood market. On the video, you can see the gunman aiming right at him. You then see the suspect shoot a female employee standing in an aisle as another man appears to run for his life. The entire assault was caught on several surveillance cameras. Each a unique angle on this brief, but brutal, crime. 24 hours after the crime, the store is closed. Customers have placed teddy bears on the front door. One leaving a message that reads "we need to pray for our city." Lovie Smith came here every day."They was some good people...really good hearted people and, I mean, if you don't have enough change, they'll let you go 'cause they know you're going to bring it back," Smith said. Friends gunned down by a mystery man. A shooter who never seemed to make any demands and does not stick around long enough to steal anything. The man who was killed was identified as 68 year-old Eada Zhad. The female employee who was shot is recovering at The MED.

Who needs a gun on Halloween?

Thanks to Franz Bailey for the link:

On October 25, Ronnie Preyer broke into a Cape Girardeau, MO woman's home and raped her. Five days later - Halloween night - he tried again. This time, the unnamed woman used a borrowed 12-gauge shotgun on the perpetrator, whom prosecutors call a career criminal. Preyer, who had several past convictions, succumbed to his wounds later that night. The woman will not be charged.

On Reasons for Light Blogging

I have been visiting with my parents over the last week in Northern Ohio. My Dad was born on Veterans' Day, November 11, only it was called Armistice Day then. In the 11th month, on the 11th day, at the 11th hour, the guns of the Great War fell silent. The countries of Europe returned to politics through diplomacy, and nothing was really settled. Since Germany and her allies were not decisively defeated, twenty years later we had to go through the whole thing again in World War II, but at least the Axis powers were defeated, at great cost in lives and treasure. Unfortunately, the Communist question was left open. Rather than argue the merits of miliarily defeating the Soviet Union, let me just say that instead, we fought a cold war, until the Soviet Union fell. But that wasn't a real defeat, and so here we have Communism on the rise again in Russia and China, joined by fascism in the Islamic countries. Everyone can see it coming, but no one wants to say it out loud. Everyone seems to feel that these people can be appeased. But they can't. In essence, they seem to be angry because they "don't get no respect" and they want to pick a fight on their terms to show us that we aren't so tough. We'll see.

Meanwhile, why the Bush administration seems to be playing footsie with the Saudis is beyond me. I would rather walk everywhere if necessary, than to do business with these slimy bastards. To put it in perspective, Osama and the Al Quaida bunch are the radicals who just can't wait, while the Saudis are engaged in the art of infiltration, with the goal of toppling us without firing a shot. It looks like they are succeeding.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The "Line in the Sand"

Jeff Knox has an interesting follow up to his previous piece, which received so much negative scrutiny from some in the gun rights community.

Knox's central point is that we aren't there yet, and hopefully it won't get there. The goal of our Constitution was to set up a system where folks could debate issues, sometimes for years, until one side or the other finally succeeded in convincing a substantial majority of the rightness of their side's cause. I think substantial here means something like 75 or 80%. I think most of us view guns as a "canary in the coal mine" issue. If they take away guns, what else are they going to take away, and how will we stop them? Setting aside that we have already lost rights we thought guaranteed, some 80% of the population agree we have the right to keep and bear arms. But when you put more meat on those bones, suddenly the percentages go down. Does that mean we have the right to carry concealed weapons? The right to own so called "assault weapons?" What about the right to carry concealed weapons on college campuses? In each case, the percentage of folks who agree goes down considerably. My guess, and it is just a guess, would be 40%, 25% and 5% respectively. We haven't made our case to the American People.

Dave Koppel and John Lott are two who routinely write about gun issues in the general press. We need more, a lot more, of those articles and we need those writers to appear more frequently in the general press. Gun blogs that only "preach to the choir" will do little to convince the general public. And if the public thinks we are fighting for the right to keep our "hobby," they are not going to be sympathetic. What we need to do is show that we are fighting for the traditional American values of Life, Liberty, and Property, and that guns support all three.

What we also need is more writers to espouse not just the reasons for our rights, but the principles upon which these are based. Jeff Snyder does an excellent job in the little book "A Nation of Cowards." If people had a thorough understanding of these principles, it would render moot the discussion that Knox tries to illuminate.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Will Atlas Shrug?

In my opinion, Ayn Rand's philosophy is cold and narcissistic. Never the less, she has left an enduring and powerful figure in John Galt. Spartacus asks whether the John Galt class will "shrug" or go to war?

Meanwhile "Peggy the Moocher" as she has been named by Michelle Malkin seems representative of the parasite class. How depressing. I have not seen statistics, but one wonders how many "Peggy the Moocher" types voted with this in mind?

At the same time, Michael Bane reports that sales of AR rifles are brisk. Denise over at the Ten Ring suggests it may be prudent to spend some of your hard earned cash for some reloading equipment and lay in a good supply of components. Sounds like good advise to me.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

So,Brack Obama is President Elect

I wish him well. May God Bless America, and guide him to to serve the people and the Constitution of the United States for the next four years. I expect, however, to be one of his fiercest critics during that time. I have to stand by what I said earlier.

That said, we have our work cut out for us.

The Federal Courts have a number of open seats, waiting for a Democrat to come in. We have to make sure these judges are originalists. In the past, Republicans have been reluctant to apply ideological litmus tests, or to vote against any nominee who was too liberal. I think we will have to do both, and to get in the dirt, and bloody ourselves as the loyal opposition. The Constitution has a built-in mechanism for changing itself. It doesn't need judges to reinterpret it. If a person feels, as Obama apparently does, that it needs changing, he seems to have to political capital to do just that. That is the only way to ensure that all Americans are treated equally, and fairly.

We must be prepared to stop any Assault Weapon Ban in the Senate, where it looks like they do not have a filibuster proof majority. Let's use that to our advantage. Of course, then there are all the "common sense " gun laws that will do nothing for crime, but greatly infringe on the rights of the law abiding. Don't wait to register your protest. Raise a storm of protest when they come up in the House as well. Who knows, if we raise a big enough stink, we may just build a big enough coalition to knock these bills down before they get rolling.

In my State, we have a one party system-again. Funny how when the party name starts with a D, that no one yammers on over how having one party prevents the other from getting "needed" legislation through. I plan to start working more at the State level. I have not done enough, and that needs to change.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Liberal Fascism

Jonah Goldberg has his first book out (here) entitled Liberal Fascism-The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning. Goldberg has studied the topic for perhaps a decade or more, and the resulting book represents both a scholarly effort and a very readable text. Such books, laden with footnotes and trying to be careful not to overstate the case, are usually ponderous, and frankly I can often barely get through them. But with this one, I was on the edge of my seat. I literally read the entire thing in two days. Goldberg's central thesis is:

“Fascism is a religion of the state. It assumes the organic unity of the body politic and longs for a national leader attuned to the will of the people. It is totalitarian in that it views everything as political and holds that any action by the state is justified to achieve the common good. It takes responsibility for all aspects of life, including our health and well-being, and seeks to impose uniformity of thought and action, whether by force or through regulation and social pressure. Everything, including the economy and religion, must be aligned with its objectives. Any rival identity is part of the ‘problem’ and therefore defined as the enemy.”

This insight illuminates the entire book. The various "isms" of the left are religions of the state. Because they are religions, belief in these causes frees the believer from the normal constraints imposed on the rest of us. Anything that needs to be done should be to bring about his chosen cause. The cause is so great, that whatever means are employed to hasten it can be justified.

The Geek With A .45 has a piece up that talks about the book far more eloquently than I could. Go see here. The Geek points out that:

"These aren't people who seek evil. They are people who seek Good, albeit through dubious means. They are people who blind themselves to the truth that the power for unlimited good is cannot be distinguished, even in principle, from the power for unlimited evil. As such, they do not understand that we oppose them for their means, not their ends, and many believe that we oppose the Good they seek to bring forth, and cannot understand why anyone (other than a reactionary degenerate seeking to preserve a position of oppression based privilege) would oppose such Goodness."

I believe that is true for the typical follower. They are true believers, and really do not understand how anyone can oppose the good they wish to bring about. Their leaders, on the other hand, I believe, have a will to power that most of us would deem inappropriate. In order to secure that power, they invariably create a cult of personality, wherein the followers invest the leader with all their hopes and dreams for the common good. Both sides seemingly get what they want, but one side is being played for suckers. Lenin referred to these followers as "useful idiots."

Last year I attended the Gun Rights Policy Conference in Louisville KY. The Second Amendment Foundation and the Citizens' Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, the organizers of the conference, had invited all the candidates then vying for their respective party's nomination. Only Ron Paul had agreed to speak to us. The thing that caused me to recoil was the apparent "cult of personality" surrounding Mr. Paul. But when I first heard of Barack Obama being mentioned as the messiah, as the great unifier who would heal our souls, as sending a tingle up Chris Matthew's leg, I was horrified. No man should be spoken of in these terms. No one can deliver on the promises that have been made. And no one can unify a people when half the population adamantly oppose the methods being used.

When that happens, because they are trying to put in place a religion, that will bring about the common Good, and the ends justify the means, then such ends justify a totalitarian regime to silence those who won't be shut up.

This morning I read David Limbaugh's pre-election piece titled Sorry, but Obama Scares Me.

Me too.

Update: I had originally attributed "Sorry but Obama Scares Me" to Jonah Goldberg. I have corrected it to read David Limbaugh.

The Thought Police

This has not received nearly enough press coverage. Not that anyone is reading my post either, but I needed to get some additional thoughts down.

First of all, the Secret Service was wrong to question her on her thoughts about Sen. Obama. Perhaps the Secret Service (why does America have a police force called the Secret Service?) was probably being hyper vigilant. Sadly, I think threats have probably been made. More about that in a minute. But their line of questioning seems to me to be entirely out of line, and their actions were unprofessional, at best. As civil servants, they should have had to show their badges, give their badge number and their names. When someone comes from your government to talk to you, they should be prepared to stand by what they say to you. You may lie, and that of course is a crime. But they should maintain a higher standard. The woman agent's refusal to give even a card raises the suspicion that they may well be partisans impersonating Federal officials. That, of course, is a crime too.

The recent arrest of two young men in a plot to kill a number of black people before assassinating Sen. Obama was very disturbing to me. Vote, yes. Read all you can, and tell everyone you know. Stand with signs on street corners. March, and demonstrate. Write your Congressmen. But don't make a martyr of this guy. If someone does, we will never hear the end of it. The press will memorialize him, making of him the messiah he is clearly not. A President Biden will announce a package of New Great Society legislation, which will be passed by 434-1 in the House, 99-1 in the Senate, in honor of the One. A generation will grow up thinking that the One was the greatest President in history. But liberty will inevitably suffer, and our children and grand children will grow up under a government that has its jackboot firmly across their throats. Don't let that happen.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Not Ripped From the Headlines (But Should Be)

Another excellent article on the subject by David Codrea of the War on Guns. Mr. Codrea is an indefatigable efforts on behalf of gun owners is hard to over estimate.

For me, this is good news, as I have occasion to drive to Ohio several times a year. In the past, I have not used rest areas precisely because these were "victim disarmament zones" and I had other choices. But there are still too many places where one may not have a choice whether or not to be there, that are defined by law as gun free zones. If the State is going to perform a background check on an individual, and demand a certain level of training in order to grant a concealed handgun license, then the State should also feel comfortable allowing such people armed access to any State owned property. I particularly find it suspicious, and cowardly, when I must be disarmed in order to meet with State Legislators, especially when they may well be armed. Who is working for who here?

On the Meaning of Money

Andrew Tallman had a good explanation of the meaning of money, and it's value, in his column today over at The heart of the explanation is here:

In truth, it’s simple. The wealthy don’t owe us. Literally, we owe them. That’s what money means.

If I have $50,000 in a bank somewhere, that means that society owes me goods and services in the amount of $50,000. If I spend $20,000 of it on a car, society doesn’t owe me as much anymore because they’ve compensated me in the form of that car. Everyone collectively still owes me $30,000, which I can collect on in a variety of ways.

Money is an IOU from society that we give people when they give us things we desire or do things for us we want. So when a person makes a lot of money, it means that he has done beneficial things for a lot of people. If he accumulates these IOUs in a storage facility somewhere, he is amassing wealth not because he owes society, but precisely because society owes him the value of all those accumulated and uncollected debts.

I had never thought about it quite like that.

Thomas Sowell makes a good point as well when he says that very few people remain in the same station in life over their lifetime. A student may be initially living below the poverty line. But when he gets a job after college, he may find himself among the lower middle class. Later, with more affluence, he may get married, have children, and, as his children go off to college, may find himself among the "Richest Americans," as The One would describe him. After retirement, he may find himself a member of the middle class again, having paid off his mortgage, driving less, and with fewer expenditures for daily living.

What the Obamamessiah is trying to do is to perform works of charity with other peoples money. Charity can only be done by someone giving of himself. When someone takes from others, which is what taxes are, and gives it to someone else, that is not charity. That is cheap and dishonest. Any politician with principles would know that, and would discourage it whenever it reared it's ugly head.

In talking to people about this, a number say, in essence, "Society is already taxed, and money is given for welfare, so this is just taking it a little farther. We aren't going to stop, so if we are already doing it, why shouldn't I get some." Such people tacitly admit that a wrong is being done, but then go one to say we should do more of it! Bah! I have little tolerance for such thinking.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Censorship Aussy Style

"The need to prevent access to illegal hard-core material and child
pornography must be placed above the industry's desire for unfettered access,"
Mr Wallace said.

And so, Australia starts down that slippery slope, as can be seen in this link. I know that "slippery slope" arguments have a bad history, but unless there is a logical stopping point, I don't see how they can be objected to.

The issue of course, is one we can all subscribe to; stopping child pornography. But the chosen mechanism, as usual, is State power, rather than individual actions. It's pretty clear that the proposers of this policy have something more in mind, but want to use the issue as a way to get their proposal past the public's natural skepticism.

Find another way.

Whenever the State wants to take away some of your rights, and uses an emotional issue like this one, the objectors always find themselves in the cross hairs. For the record, I absolutely abhor the exploitation of children. I think pedophiles should rot in prison for the rest of their lifetimes. That being said, the seriousness of the crimes being prevented do not justify the Government's creation of a law that gives bureaucrats carte blanche to later add something else to the list of subjects about which you have no need to know.

In the US, I used to think the Supreme Court would serve as the final defender of our natural rights. But I no longer think so. We got lucky with the Heller decision, with Kelo, not so much.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"What if what they want is to kill you?"

David Codrea of the War on Guns has a new outlet, the Cleveland Examiner. Go there now,and read the whole thing. Pretty hard hitting, it knocks the wind out of those who say to give the mugger what he wants. The money quote:

Contrary to your assertion, Ed, there is a way to fight back, and your
viewers would do well to know about it. Because while some will advise to just
“give them what they want,” a fair question might be “What if what they want is to kill you after they have the money?”

And go check out the War on Guns at the bottom of the page. It's ok, I'll wait while you do.

Dan Cooper, Zumbo Redux

There is controversy brewing in the gun blogs about a USA Today interview with Dan Cooper of Cooper Arms in Montana. Cooper supports the One in the interview. The company apparently has tried to spin Cooper's support of the Obamamessiah as really being an attempt during the primaries to defeat Hillary Clinton. Sebastian, of Snow Flakes in Hell has the goods on Mr. Cooper, however. Let the Zumbo-ation of Mr. Cooper begin.

I am reminded of a story about the run up to Prohibition in this country. Supposedly, the beer barons were led to believe that Prohibition would not affect their product, and so they went along and endorsed it. Only a few of those companies remain in business today, and good riddance to them. Smith and Wesson made a mistake, for which they are still paying, when they caved to the Clinton administration by putting those silly locks on all of their weapons. Zumbo paid dearly for his comments about AR pattern rifles (also known as Evil Black Rifles.) not being used for sport. Now it is Dan Cooper's turn to make an ass of himself and his company. By now, everyone should understand, who has even a cursory reading of the history of the Twentieth Century, that the Left will only accept capitulation. These guys want blood, our blood. The Communist machine about to be unleashed on us will eat us all. As Ben Franklin was reported to have said in similar circumstances, "Either we all hang together, or we shall surely hang apart."

Update: Of Arms and the Law is reporting that Dan Cooper has been asked to resign. That is the least they could do.

Monday, October 27, 2008

What's Up with Gas Prices

From mywaynews comes this report that the Lundberg survey indicates gasoline prices are down 53 cents in the last two weeks. Now, I am not complaining. Indeed, I am ecstatic. But one small question keeps rattling around in my brain: why? Who stands to benefit from the extreme run up in prices, and who is feeling the pinch now that prices have come down? Why isn't anyone apparently reporting on this? Am I the only one who is just a bit curious?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Is This Election the Last?

What are the consequences, this time, of a sweep of the elections? In other words, if the American public delivers a substantial House majority, a filibuster proof Senate, and the President, all of one party, what can we expect? More to the point, can it be good?

First up is a piece by Peter Robinson over at at Go read the whole thing, but the reader's digest version follows:

"Then there is Thomas Sowell, the economist and political philosopher. He prefers an older way of looking at American politics--a much older way. In his classic 1987 work, A Conflict of Visions, Sowell identifies two competing worldviews, or visions, that have underlain the Western political tradition for centuries. Sowell calls one worldview the "constrained vision." It sees human nature as flawed or fallen, seeking to make the best of the possibilities that exist
within that constraint. The competing worldview, which Sowell terms the
"unconstrained vision," instead sees human nature as capable of continual

After explaining the effect these two visions of mankind had in terms of the American Revolution, and the French Revolution, he goes on...

What role have the two visions played in the campaign? Sen. John McCain, who is trailing, has by and large embraced the constrained vision; Sen. Barack Obama, who is leading, the unconstrained vision. Asked if Obama represents the purest expression of the unconstrained vision since Franklin Roosevelt, Sowell, himself an African-American, replies: "No. Since the beginning of American politics. This man [Obama] has been a left ideologue for 20 years."

He goes on then to outline, in frightening detail, one might expect from such a scenario for the Supreme Court, the War on Terror, and the economy. And the money quote:

Take it all together, Sowell believes, and this election will prove decisive. "There is such a thing as a point of no return," he says. If Obama wins the White House and Democrats expand their majorities in the House and Senate, they will intervene in the economy and redistribute wealth. Yet their economic policies "will pale by comparison to what they will do in permitting countries to acquire nuclear weapons and turn them over to terrorists. Once that happens, we're at the point of no return. The next generation will live under that threat as far out as the eye can see."

The unconstrained vision is really an elitist vision," Sowell explains. "This man [Obama] really does believe that he can change the world. And people like that are infinitely more dangerous than mere crooked politicians

Next up, is a piece by Laura Hollis entitled "Don't Be a Media Dupe-Vote to WIN" over at The quote here is:

"Further, you’re assuming that you’ll get another chance at an election. But what if you don’t? Last week, I said to a family
member that what really worried me about an Obama presidency is the risk that we’d get hit again by terrorists, or face some other catastrophe. “And on the heels of that,” I said, “what’s to stop Obama from ‘suspending’ elections? I can hear his sonorous voice now, proclaiming in the most presidential tones, that ‘we cannot afford the divisiveness and partisan bickering of national elections, when the current crisis demands that we be unified as a nation!’ And to those who’d challenge (legitimately) the constitutionality of such a move, our President Obama would simply quote the Great Liberator, Abraham Lincoln, who asked what would be gained if he ‘los[t] the nation, and yet preserve[d] the Constitution?’” And then what would you do?"

Go read the whole thing. Then ask yourself, would an Obama administration do such a thing? The truth is that I do not know. But millions of people are prepared to take that risk, if the polls are to be believed. Personally, I weep for my country.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Obamamessiah Will Set Us Free

Jonah Goldberg has a piece titled "Racy Content" out today over at Read the whole thing here

Just a teaser though:

Transcend means "to move beyond, to surpass." At least that's what I always
thought. But I'm beginning to wonder whether it means instead: "Much, much more of the same, only this time really stupid."

Exhibit A: the incessant, relentless, click-your-ruby-red-slippers-and-say-it-until-it-comes-true mantra that Barack Obama will magically cause America to "transcend race." One hears and reads this everywhere, but less as an argument than as a prayer, an expression of faith, a "from my lips to The One's ear" sort of thing.

I went down to vote early yesterday. Interestingly, of the 12 people working the polling station, 7 were black. So how can the Democrats, and ACRORN logically keep harping about how blacks are likely to be disenfranchised? Wouldn't it have been anybody who wasn't black? But, I have to say that the poll workers at my polling station were very professional. I do feel that my vote will be counted. Now we wait for the results.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Why this title

The title of this weblog is a reference to the last line of the poem "On His Blindness" by John Milton. Milton's exact quote is "They also server who only stand and wait." I too often feel blind to the full extent of why this or that is happening. I can't help but believe that much goes by for which I am simply not educated enough to understand. Never the less, I will try to pass on to the reader the best I can find on topics of daily interest from those more educated in these matters than I am, and together we will try to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Of course, I also hope to acquire some knowledge of this "blogger stuff" and to finally find out what the heck an RSS feed is.